I must be one of the last foodies to try Polpo. Talk about being late to the party. I’ve walked past Polpo’s original Soho restaurant so many times, meaning to pop in, but just never got round to doing so.
Now, in a way, I’m glad I waited because it feels like the biggest and best Polpo has arrived in Chelsea. There is still the cosy intimate feeling that is familiar with the Polpo brand, with Chelsea’s inside space. But what differentiates this restaurant from the others is the wide outdoor terrace.
I absolutely love the al fresco vibe on Duke of York Square. It’s wonderfully buzzy in the evenings and during the day you feel like hours could drift by and it wouldn’t matter. So it’s great to see the restaurant scene here being expanded.
As for the menu, Polpo serves up Venetian small plates which are very satisfying indeed. Polpo means bàcaro, which is a Venetian word used “to describe a humble restaurant serving simple food and good, young local wines”. And for simple food in a humble environment, lunch was more than pretty good.
… and I had the flourless lemon & almond cake, which was very good but I felt I should have ordered a coffee with it.
All in all, Polpo is a winner. And I can imagine on a balmy summer’s day, sitting outside on the terrace, it could almost feel like being back in Italy. Perhaps all you’ll need is the sound of church bells to give you that added al fresco piazza feel.